New Founder Gender Data in Platform

We’re happy to announce that we are adding new data on company founders! 

You may have seen our team at the Inclusive Growth hack back in May. At the event we created a dashboard showing the difference in funding for male and female led businesses in Leeds. Here is what we found: 

Only 5% of funding rounds in Leeds go to female-led businesses. These rounds are also typically smaller, with female-led companies only accounting for 1% of the total value of investment in the region.” 

You can read more about the Inclusive Growth Dashboard here. 

Since May, we have continued working on inclusive growth. We have also continued highlighting the importance of inclusive growth. Alex, our CEO, spoke on a panel at Leeds Digital Festival and again more recently, at the Home Grown Club 

Our work has focused on how we can help our clients support women led businesses. In particular this work supports our partnership with PanIntelligence and the Women Led High Growth Enterprise Taskforce. 

There’s lots more to share and we will have to save some of it for another time. In the meantime, we have found a way to extend our analysis to identify the founders of companies.  

Our data is comprehensive, with data on over 5 million companies on our platform. It is important we maintain this coverage for new data points and, great news, we are able to confidently find founders for over 4 million companies 

What should you know about this data? 

Why are there founded companies with unknown gender? 


As previously stated, we take pride in successfully identifying founders for more than 4 million companies. Our foremost goal has been to ensure accuracy, so achieving both accuracy and extensive coverage is a significant accomplishment. However, if the individual we have identified as a founder has a unisex title, we are not able to estimate their gender.

The Data City do not use first names to estimate gender. 

Where do we not identify founders? 

We are not able to confidently identify the founders of older companies. There are a couple of reasons for this.  

The first is that older, and often larger, companies have more complex ownership structures. It could be that they are part of a group structure, in which case it’s hard to know which individual(s) can be attributed to founding the company. 

In a similar vein, if a company was founded a long time ago, the individuals who founded the business may not be found in our data, because the leadership of the company has changed many times since. 

While our data coverage is less comprehensive for older companies, we still achieve strong overall coverage as the majority of companies are relatively young.

Where to find the data

On the platform you’ll be able to analyse founders in two places. First, this is what we mean by founders and leaders:

  • Women founded business – a business with at least one female founder that is still active at the company.
  • Women led business – the majority of the active directors are female.

Women Founder Data in Explore

The first place you’ll see this is on company pages. For most companies on EXPLORE, if you navigate to the PEOPLE page you will see something similar to below:

The women led statistics here tell us that The Data City have 3 founders and that The Data City is not a women founded business. The Data City does have women directors (shout out to Kelly!), but it is not a majority women led business.

A women led business is one where there are more active women directors than there are active men directors.

Women Founder data in Analyse

On Analyse you will be presented with Founder data in several places.

The first place you’ll see it is in the analyse summary box. Here we have information on the number of women founded and led businesses:

For more information and, in particular, a breakdown of company by founder gender, you can scroll down to Company Details.

The analyse UI has been redesigned for this release. Charts are now grouped into categories, with dropdowns to display alternative visualisations.

Under Company details with the people dropdown, we can see the breakdown of founders by founder type. You can see that there are 409,000 mixed founded companies. A mixed founded company is one with men and women founders.

If we wanted to look at just women founded companies, there are approximately 800,000 companies registered in the UK. To arrive at this number, we have taken the number of women founded businesses and subtracted the number of mixed founded businesses.

Another way to find the number of solely women founded businesses is to apply a filter and we have new filters that are available!

We can filter to just include the solely women founded companies. Here’s what that looks like.

How to use the data

What the above means for your analysis is that you should be careful in how you compare outcomes for men and women founded businesses.

For example, if you are comparing the outcomes for women founded businesses and comparing this to the broader business base, we advise caution. The question you may be answering here is ‘do women founded businesses outperform the business base?’.

The reason for our advised caution here is because this analysis could also be including the comparison between younger companies and the business base, and we would expect younger companies to have different characteristics to the business base as a whole.

When completing your analysis, it may be more suitable to control for company size and to directly compare women and men founded businesses. For example, ‘what are the differences in characteristics between women founded medium size companies and men founded medium size companies?’.

We would also recommend using this analysis within RTICs only for now. When we create an RTIC we have an extensive QA process. This ensures that the financial data being analysed is what we would expect. Analysis across the full list of 5.4 million companies would require appropriate QA before use.

Please get in touch if you want to chat about the data or have any questions.

Interested in seeing our gender founder data for yourself, why not sign up for a free trial? It’s quick and easy to get started, you don’t need a credit card.

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